Limahuli Gardens, a National Tropical Botanical Garden, offers a rare glimpse into an authentic Hawaiian cultural site amidst beautiful rare plants and flowers. The gardens are on the lower portion of the Limahuli Valley on the ma’uka (mountain side) of the road, a short drive from the Hanalei Colony Resort and only a 20 minute drive from the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas.
Visitors can enjoy an easy walk through this verdant ancient Hawaiian cultural site, amongst Kalo Loi fed by Limahuli stream, and many beautiful tropical plants and blossoming flowers, including some rare native Hawaiian plants and even a few endemic species (originating in Kauai), such as the ‘akoko (a relative of the kukui), the sticky papala kepau (catch bird tree), a yellow blossoming ohia ‘a lehua (most common in red blossoms known as “pele’s hair”), and the rare lobelia nihauensis (a purple blossoming lobelia originally from Ni’ihau, which is now found in the wild only in Oahu and Kauai). Note, however, that while the 1000 acres of the upper Limahuli Valley, above Limahuli Gardens, is technically a part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, it is now a nature preserve and not open to the public. (You can book a tour of the gardens from Photo Safari Hawaii, which also provides camera rentals.)
- Brian Ross of Photo Safari Hawaii
Photo courtesy of the author